Managing Appetite Loss from Cancer Treatment

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Cancer treatment can cause a lot of difficult side effects. One thing that can happen is your aging relative may lose their appetite. The smell and taste of food can change for them, too. They may also experience nausea and vomiting. Throat and mouth problems can make eating even harder. Though eating may be difficult, it’s still important that the older adult gets enough nutrition.

Using the following tips can help to improve nutrition during cancer treatment.

Home Care New Holland PA - Managing Appetite Loss from Cancer Treatment

Home Care New Holland PA – Managing Appetite Loss from Cancer Treatment

Talk to the Doctor

Before you do anything else, it’s a good idea to talk to the doctor about the problems the senior is having. Waiting too long could lead to weakness, excessive weight loss, and dehydration. The doctor may be able to prescribe medication that can improve appetite and control nausea.

Offer Lots of Liquids

Dehydration can be very dangerous. Signs of dehydration are dark urine, dizziness, and weakness. Keep a bottle of water near the older adult at all times and encourage them to drink now and then. Try offering drinks that also provide some nutrition, too, such as juice or smoothies. However, limit the amount of liquid the person has with meals since it can fill their stomachs and prevent them from eating enough food.

Eat When Hungry

While you may be used to scheduling the day around mealtimes, when an older adult is being treated for cancer, it could be time to throw that schedule out the window. Instead, allow them to decide when they eat. Offer food any time they are feeling hungry. Several small meals throughout the day may be a better way of getting enough nutrition than three larger meals.

Encourage Activity

Physical activity can help to spur appetite. It can also help keep the body strong. Encourage your loved one to get up and move around as often as possible. Take a short walk, dance them around the living room, or play an active video game.

Make Eating Pleasant

Try making eating more enjoyable by doing it in pleasant surroundings. Set the table and play some quiet music. Put a vase of flowers on the table. Sit with the senior to keep them company while they eat. If they need to stay in bed, try setting up a dinner tray with flowers, a pretty placemat, and nice dinnerware.

Ask Home Care for Help

Home care can help seniors undergoing cancer treatment to eat and drink more. Home care providers can refill a water bottle throughout the day, keeping it fresh and cold. Home care providers can also prepare meals and snacks throughout the day. They can even sit with the older adult while they eat to keep them company.

Sources:  https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss

https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/side-effects/appetite-loss

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer/art-20045046

If you or a loved one are considering Home Care Services near New Holland PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Lancaster. Call today at (717) 205-2174.

Mary Lynne Heller

After Mary Lynne Heller received her nursing degree from Coatesville Hospital School of Nursing, she went on to graduate with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Millersville University. Her quest for learning further expanded her skill set as she gained extensive managerial and nursing skills within medical, surgical and oncology hospital-based units, a trauma center, and an infusion company before coming to Star Multi Care family in 2001. Mary Lynne’s cumulative 40 years of nursing experience has been heightened by her successes in the role of Administrator in the Lancaster branch of Extended Family Care. She has not only set branch records in revenue growth but has also exceeded company-wide performance and quality measures.

A long-time resident of Lancaster County, Mary Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, and their 3 horses and collies. The countless hours of caring for her client and employee-based “family” at work and at home can truly depict the selfless character of Mary Lynne Heller. Mary Lynne is a Google Verified Author
About the author: Mary Lynne Heller
After Mary Lynne Heller received her nursing degree from Coatesville Hospital School of Nursing, she went on to graduate with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Millersville University. Her quest for learning further expanded her skill set as she gained extensive managerial and nursing skills within medical, surgical and oncology hospital-based units, a trauma center, and an infusion company before coming to Star Multi Care family in 2001. Mary Lynne’s cumulative 40 years of nursing experience has been heightened by her successes in the role of Administrator in the Lancaster branch of Extended Family Care. She has not only set branch records in revenue growth but has also exceeded company-wide performance and quality measures. A long-time resident of Lancaster County, Mary Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, and their 3 horses and collies. The countless hours of caring for her client and employee-based “family” at work and at home can truly depict the selfless character of Mary Lynne Heller. Mary Lynne is a Google Verified Author

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